Pittsburgh Penguins Trade Ramblings Part IV: Rumors, Rumblings, and Possible Targets


Things are starting to heat up with Pittsburgh Penguins rumblings. This past week was very eventful, both for trade talk and controversy.

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The controversial comment came from Elliotte Friedman of sportsnet.ca. While on a Calgary radio station, he discussed that Evgeni Malkin is unhappy and would welcome a change of scenery. I’m not going to get too in-depth with this since we already did on Friday. I’ll just say that I wouldn’t count on Malkin moving any time soon. If he is unhappy, he likely won’t be if the Pittsburgh Penguins management is successful in their offseason plans.

What are those plans?

Well, in a very informative Friday Insider from Josh Yohe at DKonPittsburghSports.Com, Yohe cited multiple items that should be music to the ears of Pens fans. The most important part being that “They don’t see a place for Scuderi”. As I’ve mentioned a few times, there may be a market to trade Rob Scuderi. There could be a cap-floor team out there that’s willing to take him, maybe with retained salary, and benefit from him playing on their third pairing or as a seventh defenseman. Of course, a buyout is possible too and wouldn’t impact the Pens too negatively.

Chris Kunitz and Brandon Sutter are also names that may not be here next season. Sutter is almost sure to be traded in my opinion, as he’s the best trade chip this team has to acquire a top-six wing. Kunitz won’t be nearly as valuable on the trade market and according to Yohe is still viewed favorably by the Pittsburgh Penguins. I personally think he’ll be a Penguin in 2015-16, but only time will tell.

There’s still very little info around the league as to who will be dangled on the trade market this summer. I mentioned a few names in my last ramblings, and still find Jiri Hudler interesting as it’s been said that he could be available. Milan Lucic may be on his way out of Boston, and while he may fit what the Pittsburgh Penguins need, there’s no way they can afford his cap hit. Nor should they want to.

While I still have concern with his age, Patrick Sharp really seems to be a strong possibility for the Pens. If you consider the Blackhawks needs and the fact that they’ll do whatever is necessary this summer to keep Brandon Saad, Sharp is likely on his way out. Marian Hossa has received some attention in the rumor mill recently, and while I love Marian Hossa’s game, let’s remember that he’s 36 and carries a $5.2 million cap hit through 2020. Plus, after turning down a contract with the Pens I wouldn’t even consider that to be a possibility.

What’s going on with Jonathan Drouin? Will he be available?

After a solid regular season, the young forward has found himself watching from the press box more often than not in the post-season. He logged just over seven minutes on Saturday night and that was his first action since game four in round-two. Jon Cooper seems to be doing his best Dan Bylsma impression as he continues to play a veteran like Brendan Morrow over a young guy like Drouin.

That being said, I don’t look for Drouin to get traded this summer. I don’t think the team has lost faith in him just yet. He hasn’t played bad, so the fact that he’s been scratched is a bit mind-boggling. Either way, he’ll be with the Lightning next season.

There are indications out of Columbus that Kerby Rychel may be available. Considering the amount of promising youth within the Blue Jackets organization, Rychel could be moved as he’ll fetch a solid return. This isn’t the exciting, high profile top-six winger that everyone is hoping for this offseason, but the 20-year old 19th overall selection would give the Pens some much needed young depth. He’s not a huge guy at 6’1 and 205 lbs. but he’s extremely strong on the puck and can score in the dirty areas. He’s known for his power-forward style of play and aside from his offensive upside, he’ll hit and drop the gloves as well.

Thanks for reading. I’ll continue my trade ramblings as more info becomes available. I fully expect things to blow up over the next two weeks as the Stanley Cup final winds down so check back and follow me on Twitter for more hockey talk at @Michael29Angelo.

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